Patricia A. O'Malley
Social Policy & Programs Consulting    ~    Community Matters
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Established 1993

There is No Such Thing as a “Good Cop”

How to Prevent Police Crime

April 30, 2015


Everyone talks about the plague of murderous thug cops killing young black men for sport in America.  Most argue that only “a few bad apples” are behind it all.  They are wrong.  They pity the cops because their job is so dangerous.  They’re wrong about that too.

From Rodney King to Freddie Gray and beyond, evil cops are everywhere.  Cameras are everywhere too, displaying the cops’ crimes. The FBI doesn’t even bother to keep statistics on cop crime.  They don’t want you to see those numbers because FBI agents are cops too. 

So now that the behemoth of American public opinion is awake, what happens next?

All Cops are Criminals
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 780,000 cops in the U.S. in 2012.  If most of them are “good cops”, then at least 390,001 of those “good cops” would be condemning these atrocities. 

Where are they? 

Why aren’t they as outraged as the rest of us? 
Why haven’t we heard from them?

The Fraternal Order of Police is the largest police union in the U.S.  According to the FOP website, the union represents 325,000 cops.  FOP national president Chuck Canterbury recently released a statement on the prosecution of the six Baltimore cops who killed Freddie Gray.  Part of that statement says: “We can only hope and pray that these officers are afforded due process and that the judicial proceedings going forward will be open and fair.”  Why doesn’t he think that Freddie Gray deserved due process and fair proceedings?

At the very least, we must DEMAND that our cops not be criminals. 
There are NO good cops on any police force.  
ALL cops are criminals.   
Now, before you get all crazy yelling at me, read on. 

Violating a person's civil rights is a crime.
Harassment, threats, intimidation, oppression, beatings, retaliation,

and conspiracy are crimes.
Filing false police reports is a crime.
Perjury in court is a crime.
And even if a cop has done none of those things, Covering up the

crimes of other cops is a crime.
ALL cops cover up cop crimes. 

Yes, they do.  They brag about it.
Therefore, ALL cops are criminals.

And the public officials who cover up those cop crimes are also criminals.
The longer we hold onto the myth of the “good cop”, the longer it will take to solve these problems.
If there are so many “good cops”, then where are they, and WHY don’t they come forward?

Solving the Problem
Citizen police review boards are nothing but puppets of the local cops.

There’s talk of requiring state or federal jurisdiction of these murders, rather than allowing the local cops and district attorneys to “investigate” their drinking buddies.  That’s fine, but it’s not enough.

There’s talk about better police training.  That’s a farce. 
Anyone who thinks that will work is too stupid to be walking around loose.
This is not a training issue.

This is a hiring issue.

Nothing will change until we demand that our petty local officials stop hiring assholes, bullies, crybabies, and sociopaths to be cops. 

We cannot permit our public servants to hire their relatives, neighbors, and high school buddies to be cops. 

We cannot tolerate their covering up crimes committed by cops.

But people must stand up and say this in public. 

When you hire defective people to be cops, you get defective cops. 

It’s not rocket science.  

If YOU are not going to stand up in public and demand a professional, adult, responsible police department, then you have no business whining about cops and you deserve what you get.  But I don’t.
The cops will keep getting away with murder as long as you let them get away with it.

Yes. I have done these things in my community.  I witnessed cops committing crimes.  I reported it to the local officials in Brentwood, PA.  The police chief, mayor, and town council all ignored me because I stood alone.  Then the cops, along with others from the surrounding communities of Baldwin, Whitehall and the city of Pittsburgh, retaliated against me.   But I am the ONLY person in my town with the guts to do this.  Why am I still alone?  What are YOU doing about it in your town?

Protests and Demonstrations
All social movements have a catalyst.  The women's movement had Seneca Falls.  The civil rights movement had Emmett Till.  The LGBT movement had Stonewall and Harvey Milk.  It looks like Ferguson, Staten Island, Cleveland, Baltimore, and the rest are the catalysts for the Get-Decent-Cops movement.

In the past several years, we've seen massive public demonstrations for Wisconsin public employees, the Occupy movement, immigration reform, economic justice, and criminal justice for victims of police brutality. Protests are routine again, but there are two generations who haven't learned how vital they are.  Protests and demonstrations have been around for hundreds of years. 

They are necessary for social evolution. They draw attention to vital issues.

No significant social, economic, or political change has happened anywhere in the world without protest and demonstration. History is made by those who show up.

Protests and demonstrations are not riots.  Riots are riots.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the riots in Ferguson and Baltimore were started by undercover cops, purely to start trouble.  It wouldn’t be the first time.  I don’t condone violence, but when you treat people like cops treat civilians, you can’t be surprised when people fight back.

Protests create attention, but protesting alone is not enough.  You must use that attention to convince your elected officials to make change. Yes you can. Contact your legislators soon after the event. Tell them what you want and why you want it.

The cops, your elected officials, the corporate media, and the Republicans who control our schools don't want you to know that lobbying is the ONLY thing that can stop this epidemic and restore our democracy.

That’s why they lie to you about what lobbying is.  "Giving money to legislators" is not lobbying.

Lobbying is the act of contacting local, state, and federal officials to discuss the issues that you care about, and convincing them to support legislation and policies reflecting your positions.  Legislators at all levels of government listen to corporate lobbyists because they are the only ones doing the talking.

If you want your representatives to listen to you, then start talking to them.  And it doesn’t cost a dime.

Write, phone, fax, and email your elected officials.  Attend your local town council meetings.  Meet with your representatives in person.  Join an organization that’s working on the issues important to you. 

Go to the links below for more details on how to lobby effectively.

Yes, policing is a difficult job. 

But it’s not as difficult as the cops want you to believe.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top ten most dangerous jobs in the United States are:

  • Logging workers
  • Commercial fishing workers
  • Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
  • Roofers
  • Refuse And Recyclable Material Collectors
  • Mining machine operators
  • Driver/Sales Workers and Truck Drivers
  • Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers
  • Electrical power line installers and repairers
  • Construction laborers

The BLS doesn’t even list the ranking of police officer on the list of most dangerous jobs.

A police officer’s death on the job is a tragedy, but it is no more a tragedy than a fisherman’s, electrician’s, or ironworker’s.  And people who meet them don’t worry that those guys will murder them and get away with it.

Record the Police

Keep your cool.  Use your camera.

The American Civil Liberties Union website contains a page which explains your constitutional right to record the police in action.

The ACLU also has free phone apps for eighteen states which will record incidents with just one touch of a button, and automatically forward it to the ACLU for follow-up.

File Complaints

Yes, the legal system favors the cops.  But we still need to use it.

We must make them document every incident.

You can file complaints with the police agency that committed the crimes, your district attorney, and the US Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.

Force them to respond.

Keep those cameras rolling, folks. 
Shine big bright lights on the vermin.

We Are One.

For more information:
Learn how to lobby
Brentwood Officials are Still Covering Up Police Crimes
American Civil Liberties Union:  Recording the Police

ACLU Apps to Record Police Conduct
U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
The National Police Violence Map

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Patricia A. O'Malley

Social Policy & Programs Consulting

Training and Services for agencies working toward social and economic justice